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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 04-22-14, 02:43 AM   #1
bikelver
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Want to get back into it, some questions about my bike

Hey guys, I have been out of biking for a few years due to various jobs that have kept me travelling, and I am looking to get back into it, I weigh 370 pounds, I have a 2007 specialized hard-rock, with hand-built wheels, that I know should be fine to hold my weight, However I remember I stopped riding because the rear derailleur on that bike would never stay in adjustment, even after my LBS adjusted it properly, when ever I ride it, it would feel as though the bike was shifting gears on its own, so my first question is, is this due to me being a big dude, or is this a defect in a part on the bike that I need to have replaced.

My second question is, my bikes been hanging up in the garage since 2010, I know it needs to have a full tune up done, the tires need to be filled, and the wheels probably need to be trued up after 4 years, is there anything else I should be concerned about with a bike that hasn't moved in this long?

Also what else can I add to this particular bike to make it a more comfortable ride for me, I already am planning on putting a bigger saddle on it (right now I have the stock saddle on it, which is this little thing built for a skinny guy) and I am debating if I should try to pursue a rigid fork.

My final question is, instead of pursuing all of these modifications, are there any recommendations for a new bike, in the five to six hundred dollar range that will hold my weight, I can probably budge from that price range a little bit if it is a bike I can move the wheels from my hard rock onto.
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Old 04-22-14, 05:54 AM   #2
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Pump the tires, lube the chain, and get riding.
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Old 04-22-14, 07:03 AM   #3
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There's a chance your size might be flexing the frame, creating the shifting issues, but I wouldn't put my money on that. I'd replace the derailleur, get a tune up, lube the chain as mentioned, air the tires and ride.

Riding an old bike > not riding at all, or waiting to ride til you get a new bike.

And you might reconsider that "big" saddle idea. Often, big saddles create worse pressure points in those sensitive areas of our nether regions. It may not help at all. You could go to an LBS and get "fitted" for a saddle (they'll measure your sit bones and recommend a proper width saddle).

A rigid fork would be nice, but again, riding a bike with front suspension is better than not riding at all.

As far as comfort goes, I'd consider some padded cycling shorts before a saddle ... you might want to consider new grips instead of what you have on there, or if not, padded cycling gloves. Also, be mindful of your fit on the bike. A bad bike fit creates a LOT of "comfort" issues.

Most of all, just ride ... watch your diet and ride. Save money while you're losing weight from all this riding and then reward yourself with a new bike.
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Old 04-22-14, 07:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikelver View Post
............. I stopped riding because the rear derailleur on that bike would never stay in adjustment, even after my LBS adjusted it properly, when ever I ride it, it would feel as though the bike was shifting gears on its own, so my first question is, is this due to me being a big dude, or is this a defect in a part on the bike that I need to have replaced.
It's amazing how the mind works isn't it. You know the derailleur is adjusted correctly (because the LBS did it). However the bike still malfunctions... and you ask... could it be you. I have been heavy myself... and I know how you feel. Diet and exercise and the weight comes off.
Most likely if the derailleur is adjusted properly it will be ether the chain is too worn, the cassette is too worn..... or most commonly the rear wheel is not properly seated.
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Old 04-22-14, 07:48 AM   #5
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I weigh over 300, and weighed about 365 when I started riding several years ago (with off years interspersed), and I have never had a rear derailleur shift itself due to my weight. That is with probably 4,000 miles spread over a decade (it was over 3,000 miles when I quit tracking as closely a few years ago). For a reputable mountain bike like the Hard Rock, I wouldn't expect frame flex to be an issue, but there may be something else at work like a bad derailleur, a bent hanger or even a broken rear axle.

There is nothing that your bike needs after sitting for 4 years other than air in the tires and lube on the chain, the exceptions are if rust has taken over, or the tires are cracking from age (unlikely). A wheel just sitting there for 4 years won't need truing unless it needed it before it was put on the shelf. As far as a rigid fork, it is something I did on my 2003 Giant Sedona DX, and it did help handling a bit, but if your fork has a lockout (I don't know about yours), then the only real advantage is saving a little weight, and at our size, saving a pound or two on a fork isn't that big of an issue. If you don't have a lockout, it is an option, but until you get used to riding you may benefit the minimal advantage of the shock smoothing out the ride.

I would suggest saving your money so that you can get a new bike after you have been riding long enough to know what you want in a new bike that you aren't getting from your Hard Rock, especially if your initial objective is just to get riding. What you have should be good.

I would also suggest finding a saddle that works for you, but wider is not necessarily the answer, and if it is, it could just be marginally wider. Our sit bones don't spread like our waistlines do.
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Old 04-22-14, 07:56 AM   #6
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Not all LBS are equal. Have the RD hanger and cage checked. One or both could be bent. A chain defect may also cause skipping. A few weeks ago I was experiencing skipping even in friction mode. Did a throrough inspection to find that the outside plate of my speed link was missing. I was one hammer up a hiill away from snapping the chain. Also, if, in the past, you did much of your riding in one or two cogs, they could be worn down.

Also, you might find that you need new cables and housings since the bike has been sitting for so long, but I would not necessarily replace them right away.
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